30 August 2013

The Blue Beast - finished

When Pippa said she was hosting TGIFF  I knew exactly what I wanted to finish to show off.  

I am more relieved than you can possibly imagine, to be able to tell you that the Blue Lagoon quilt is finished!  It seems to have dragged on forever, and has not been the most exciting quilt to make.  But the result, as always is well worth it.  I started the quilt in January, although I agreed to make for my friend it over a year before that!

I um'ed an errr'd about how to quilt it - In the end I chose to quilt it diagonally in Aurifil 50 in cream - the quilt is very "square" and the diagonals make a secondary pattern.  A variegated blue thread would have been quite nice, but I stuck with conservative cream, as it wasn't for me.

Friends Marks and Rose stayed with us last week, so I put the quilt on their bed to surprise them

Before it went off to it's new home, I had a few very wet days to get some photos, so they are not the brightest!

 And of course, a photo with Ted!

Quilt Details
Pattern: Blue Lagoon from Jelly Roll Quilts by Nicky and Pam Lintott
Fabrics:  An assortment bought in the UK, CZ and from my stash.  Sashing Kona Snow
Thread:  Aurifil 50 - 2026
Started:  January 2013
Finished: Auust 2013
Made for friends Mark & Rose.

Follow this link to some of the other lovely finishes this week

29 August 2013


When we came to live in Czech Republic from the UK (8 years in 4 days time), we were very excited about being situated in the centre of Europe.  We imagined zipping off here, there and everywhere but 8 years on, we've honestly not been far.  Mainly because I don't like to constantly put the dogs and cats in the kennels.   After 8 years, several of our friends and family have visited us so many times, and are so bored with Valtice, we are venturing further afield.   We picked up Mark and Rose from Bratislava last week, and headed down to Slovenia, which is around a 6 hour drive for us.  The weather was brilliant, and we managed to see quite a lot of Slovenia's 47km coastline. 

Day 1 we walked to Piran along the coastal path.   Piran was once a thriving port, but that was filled in to make the main square and these days there is just a marina.

There is a very strong italian influence here, as seen pretty, narrow streets

 But it was a very hot day, and I was reduced to buying a silly hat to stop my brain from frying

We also took a ride on the local bus to the port of Koper. 

And on the last day we hired bikes for the day.  I thought we were just going for a pootle round, and was happy to get the map out over a beer after the first 12 kms

But I was traveling with three nutters who thought it would be a good idea to do a 45 km loop over the mountains and back down the coast.  It was pretty, but I'm afraid I was concentrating on making it to the end without dying, so failed to take any more photos.  Oh apart from this one!

 I rarely drink beer, and NEVER a big glass, but by this time, I was past caring!!

We had the best of the weather, because it rained all the way home on Sunday, and has hardly stopped until today.  Good for the garden though.  I hoped you liked my whistle stop tour of the Slovenian coast - you might even go there one day.  I will say though, it's not a place for hardened sun worshippers.  There are no beaches, and sunbathers are relegated to the pavements!

Not my idea of a good holiday!!

28 August 2013

A little break

First of all thanks to everyone who left such lovely comments on my last post about my stitch tease blocks.  We have been away for a few days, and my i-pad stuck it's virtual thumb up tis virtual backside and chose not to send out e-mails.  I could read yours, but not reply.  This implies to the rest of the world that I couldn't be bothered to reply.  Not the case I can assure you.

We have had a few days away with friends in Slovenia, which is about 6 hours drive for us.  It's very pretty and I am going to write a post about it, but Gordon has gone off with the camera chip today, so I can't right now.

Here's a couple taken with my i-pod, just to whet your appetite

Also the Blue Lagoon has been completed, photographed on a rather wet, miserable day, and gone off to it's new home.  More about that later too!  In the meantime, I have the day to myself and I'm off to catch up with a bit of sewing - I'm a bit behind with bee blocks!

20 August 2013

Stitch Tease 2


July was my month in the second round of the Stitch Tease bee.  The problem with this bee is always going to be even matching the first round quilt, let alone beat it!

After much deliberation I asked everyone to make a white centre panel 5-8",surrounded by scrappy blocks to make it up to 12.5 inches. In the centre I asked for the girls to "do a little something" . I don't mind what - embroidery, hexies, applique, paper pieced, machine pieced, whatever took their fancy. Mine was a little bit of embroidery, which reminds me never to choose something with french knots again!

Stitch Tease 2 - July

And once again, as you would expect, the Stitch Tease bee-ers are doing me proud.  I am stunned by the blocks I am getting back

Here they are all together

Aren't they impressive?  I still have 10 blocks to come, but already I am thinking of trying to make a medallion style quilt, putting one of the non-directinal blocks in the centre and building the rest around it. It's going to be WONDERFUL!  I just know it.  Even Mr Quiltova is impressed, which is pretty impressive in itself!

Thanks to all the contributors so far, especially the ladies who thrust the blocks into my hot, sticky little hands in London.  I didn't have time to open them at the time, so didn't get to thank them.

16 August 2013

Meet Little Mole

Ages and ages ago, I read this post from Nicky at Mrs Sew and So.  She is in a bee called Star of Africa, and for her month as Queen Bee, she wanted children's story characters, myths, legend or fairy tales typical of each members country, and the siggie block should be fashioned like the spine of a book.  I though this was a great idea, and we agreed that we should do a private little swap - I would make a block for her Star of Africa quilt, and she would make me a little something

Now I don't know much about czech childrens stories, myths and legends, as I didn't grow up here.  So for inspiration, I went to my friend/teacher/adviser of all thing Czech, Lenka, and she suggested a little character that all czech kids have grown up with for years - Krteček - or little mole in English


He was created in the 1950'2 by Zdeněk Miler, at a time when the animation industry here was at in full flight. In 2011, Krteček even went into space on board the space shuttle Endeavour.

So here's my take on  Krteček 
As Lenka pointed out, he was never purple, but who wants a black mole on brown soil on their quilt?

And here's the spine 
 I also came across a little mole in the supermarket, clearly looking for a new home

Little mole came on my trip to London to meet his new friend Nicky, and is now living with her in England!

And in exchange?  Well I asked for a block that I could make into a cushion for the kitchen (because Gordon likes them so much, and he doesn't have nearly enough!)

Such fun!!  It'll just fit perfectly into my yellow kitchen, when I get around to making it up into a cushion.  These things don't take long, but I have so many other things on the go!  But I will Nicky, it's lovely.

So come on Nicky, how do you pronounce it?  Kr-te-chek!

14 August 2013

WIP Wednesday

The temperatures have dropped to a pleasant 25 degrees here, so it's now safe to come out of the freezer!
A little sewing has been going on

Old stuff

The Blue Beast (A quilt formerly known as the Blue Lagoon) is almost vanquished!


Almost bound!

I opted for straight line quilting across the diagonals a) because I thought it would take a little of the squareness away and b) it was 35 degrees outside (and probably hotter in my sewing room) and I couldn't face wrestling with it to get it FMQ'd!  This quilt is for friends Mark and Rose, who are over with us next week, so it should be finished just in time!

New stuff

Although I have plenty of other things to finish, I just couldn't help starting something new

Destined to be a baby quilt for a colleague - we don't know what flavour the baby is, so it's going to be bright but gender neutral.

Linking in with this week's WIP Wednesday.

11 August 2013

Odds n Ends

Because I seem to have lost my blogging mojo recently, I have quite a few bits and bobs that I need to show you.  Only small things, manly bee blocks, but I don't like them to go un-recorded

In June, Elisabeth gave the girls of Sew Eurobee-an an easy month.  She sent us a selection of solids in blue/turqouise/teal and told us to get on and make what we wanted.  So I got out my Modern Blocks book, and the Fat Quarterly shape book and made these two beauties

I love the little block on the left (Interlocked by Tacha Bruecher), so much so that I have planned and started cutting, a baby quilt for a freinds baby due in October.   There were casualties though.

I started to make a different second block and decided I didn't like the stripey fabric

So I replaced that, finished the block and it turned out too narrow, and the sides didn't line up. 

I think this is quite an achievement when most of the block is paper pieced.  Obviously the problem was in the white background blocks that I added at the end.  Despite help from Di in London, and me re-sewing the corner pieces completely, it is still not right.

So it went in the bin!

I think Elisabeth liked her blocks, but she's not getting the third!

01 August 2013

Where did July go?

July seemed to whizz by getting ready for the FQR, being at the FQR, then recuperating from the FQR with my brother and his wife.   I still have to write a few posts so for now just a snap shot.

From the Sewing Room

1. Bag for FQR 2. Blocks for Elisabeth Sew Euro-bee-an 3. Block for Mrs Sew and so 4. Circa 35 quilt top 5.  My block for Stitch Tease bee 6. Betty's block for Euro Siblings Together 7. Le Challenge "toffee" 8. Failed bee blocks for Elisabeth 9. Repair to family boot box
 From the Garden

1.  Flowers  2.  Strawberries 3. more flowers 4.  Other flowers  5.  just a few flowers 6.  Blueberries (not flowers) 7 beans peas and potatoes

Linking with fresh sewing day at Lily's quilts

Lily's Quilts